sub·​cor·​ti·​cal ˌsəb-ˈkȯr-ti-kəl How to pronounce subcortical (audio)
: of, relating to, involving, or being a part of the brain below the cerebral cortex
subcortical lesions

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web This means that the wiring of rats' brains is subcortical. Matt Villano, CNN, 19 Aug. 2022 Further implicating the chemokine, the increase was localized specifically to the white matter of the hippocampus, with no reactivity in cortical or other subcortical white matter. William A. Haseltine, Forbes, 2 Aug. 2022 And if subcortical processing plays such a large role in speech, researchers might also have overlooked other important ways in which the brain makes sense of complex sounds. Quanta Magazine, 21 Oct. 2021 Emotions are lower level responses occurring in the subcortical region of the brain—the amygdala—and the prefrontal cortex of the brain. Womensmedia, Forbes, 15 Oct. 2021 In the study, the brain scans showed subjects’ subcortical gray matter volume decreased between January and August and increased between August and December. Caroline Delbert, Popular Mechanics, 6 Apr. 2021 When a person gets a compliment, the more primitive, subcortical auditory regions first reacts to the intonation—the emotional force of spoken words. Virginia Morell, National Geographic, 6 Aug. 2020 In both dogs and humans, subcortical parts of the brain process intonations, while higher, cortical parts of the brain process word meanings. Meghan Overdeep, Southern Living, 5 Aug. 2020 Entrainment usually happens without conscious thought, occurring in the subcortical regions of the brain, Stegemoller says. Luke Ottenhof, Popular Mechanics, 26 July 2020 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'subcortical.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History

First Known Use

1899, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of subcortical was in 1899

Dictionary Entries Near subcortical

Cite this Entry

“Subcortical.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Dec. 2022.

Medical Definition



sub·​cor·​ti·​cal -ˈkȯrt-i-kəl How to pronounce subcortical (audio)
: of, relating to, involving, or being nerve centers below the cerebral cortex
subcortical lesions
subcortical sensation
subcortically adverb
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